About Us

Mission Statement

The mission of Winyah Rivers Foundation is to protect, preserve, monitor and revitalize the health of the lands and waters of the greater Winyah Bay watershed.

Winyah Rivers Foundation was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2001. We are a grassroots organization of people from North and South Carolina who are convinced that the preservation of our local rivers and their watersheds would best be served by hiring advocates to protect clean water. The Foundation seeks to ensure that the land and water uses support a high quality of life for all human and natural uses. Clean water is essential for a healthy community and a healthy economy.

Winyah Rivers Foundation watches over the watersheds in the Lower PeeDee Basin, identified by the United States Geologic Survey as Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) 030402.

This large watershed represents a drainage area of 11,700 square miles and includes the Waccamaw, Lumber, Little PeeDee, Lower PeeDee, Lynches, Black and Sampit Rivers.

Collectively this is referred to as the greater Winyah Bay watershed because all rivers ultimately discharge into Winyah Bay at Georgetown, South Carolina. Winyah Bay is the third largest estuary on the eastern seaboard. 

In 2002, Winyah Rivers Foundation received a license from WATERKEEPER® ALLIANCE for the Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER® Program. The Waccamaw Riverkeeper advocates for the Waccamaw River watershed and implements education and advocacy programs focused on this 1,640 square mile watershed in North and South Carolina.

In 2018, Winyah Rivers received a licence from WATERKEEPER® ALLIANCE for the Lumber RIVERKEEPER® Program. The Lumber Riverkeeper advocates for the Lumber River watershed and implements education and advocacy programs focused on this 1,750 square mile watershed in North and South Carolina.

As a member of WATERKEEPER® ALLIANCE and the Waterkeeper movement, our vision is for
fishable, swimmable, drinkable water for our families and our future.

Join Winyah Rivers Foundation to support our work!

Our Commitment to Transparency

Winyah Rivers Foundation, Inc. is proud to have earned GuideStar's Platinum Seal of Transparency.


Winyah Rivers Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, EIN 57-1118288 (IRS Determination Letter). Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Our financial information (Form 990) can be accessed here:

2017 Form 990     2016 Form 990     2015 Form 990     2014 Form 990     2013 Form 990     2012 Form 990     

2018 Budget     2019-21 Budget Forecast

Our Conflict of Interest policy can be found here.

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Winyah Rivers Foundation, Inc. (WRF) does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. WRF's Diversity Policy is located here. It is reviewed and approved annually by our Board of Directors.

Our Commitment to High Standards and Ethics

Winyah Rivers Foundation, Inc.(WRF) requires directors, officers and employees to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities. Winyah Rivers practices honesty and integrity in fulfilling our responsibilities and complies with all applicable laws and regulations.  WRF's Whistleblower Policy is intended to encourage and enable employees and others to raise serious concerns internally so that can address and correct inappropriate conduct and actions. It is the responsibility of all board members, officers, employees and volunteers to report concerns about violations of Winyah Rivers Foundation, Inc.’s code of ethics or suspected violations of law or regulations that govern WRF operations. WRF's Whistleblower Policy is located here.

Strategic Planning

In 2016, Winyah Rivers Foundation undertook a strategic planning process with the assistance of Nancy Bracken and the financial support of the Waccamaw Community Foundation. See our Strategic Plan here.

Board of Directors

Rev. Ron Hartman of Murrells Inlet, SC -  President Tom Badgett, DMD of Conway, SC
Clay Swenson of Calabash, NC - Vice President Debra Buffkin of Nichols, SC
Michelle Lewis, MBA of Kingstree, SC - Treasurer Reggie Daves, MD of Conway, SC
Jessie White, Esq. of Pawleys Island, SC - Secretary Dolores "Dee" Duffy of Myrtle Beach, SC
  Dan Hitchcock, PhD of Pawley's Island, SC
  Joseph Jacobs, III of Nakina, NC
  Greg Mitchell of Surfside Beach, SC
  Richard Moore, PhD of Pawley's Island, SC
  Bob Moran, Esq. of Pawley's Island, SC
  Doug Smith of Whiteville, NC
  Martha Smith of Conway, SC
  Leslie Wilson of Conway, SC

Our Board of Directors meets twice annually to review and direct the activities of staff in relation to our mission. In addition, our Board is organized into sections; a south section, mid section and a north section. Each section meets annually, at a minimum, separate from the semi-annual full Board meetings. Minutes are taken at all board meetings and are available upon request. Board members are involved in various committees including the Finance Committee and Fundraising Event Committee. Board members are not compensated. Board members serve our organization as volunteers and are financially contributing members of Winyah Rivers Foundation.

We invite you to join us in our mission. 

How passionate are you about our cause? What personal aspirations of yours could be enhanced by serving on our board? How much time can you give us?

Please complete the Board Member Responsibilities and Application Form.

Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Dennis M. Allen, University of South Carolina's Baruch Institute and Marine Science Program, Georgetown, SC
Dr. William Conner, Clemson University's Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science, Georgetown, SC
Dr. Daniel Hitchcock, Clemson University's Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science, Georgetown, SC
Dr. Susan Libes, Coastal Carolina University's Waccamaw Watershed Academy Conway, SC
Dr. Stan Riggs, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC